Prostate Artery Embolization
What is PAE?
Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive, non-surgical outpatient treatment to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate. Using a live x-ray, an interventional radiologist inserts a thin IV catheter into the groin or wrist artery and guides it through the prostate artery. Once the correct vessels are identified, a mixture of small beads (microparticles) is injected to fill areas of the prostate gland being supplied by the blood vessel. These beads stay permanently in the prostate gland and will force it to shrink over time. Over time, the prostate shrinks, improving lower urinary tract symptoms. This FDA-approved procedure is performed at Fairfax Vascular Center.
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is the medical term for non-cancerous enlarged prostate. The typical prostate size of the adult male is about the size of a golf ball. When enlarged, the size can increase to the equivalent of a lemon, obstructing urine flow from the bladder and out the urethra.
Am I at risk?
Enlarged prostate is common as men age, affecting one in four men by age 55, and half of 75-year-old men. Most men will experience lower urinary tract symptoms to varying severity. The treatment is determined by the severity of symptoms. In severe cases, an enlarged prostate can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones or incontinence.
What are the symptoms?
Some lower urinary tract symptoms that are associated with an enlarged prostate include:
What are my treatment options?
Numerous treatment options exist for enlarged prostate, ranging from conservative to invasive. These include medication to improve flow of urine and decrease the size of the prostate. Transurethral treatments include Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP), laser ablation/enucleation. Additional outpatient treatments include Rezum or UroLift. Finally, surgical treatments include prostatectomy. Prostate Artery Embolization is a very effective non-surgical, non-transurethral treatment.
Every patient’s treatment goals and risk tolerance is different. Your interventional radiologist will help guide to your preferred treatment, address your concerns and compare and contrast risks and benefits of various treatment pathways. No one treatment will suit the needs and goals of each patient.
Watch the video below to learn about PAE treatment
Am I a candidate for PAE?
Most patients with typical lower urinary tract symptoms are candidates for prostate artery embolization. The key benefits of PAE are few if any complications and no lasting sexual side-effects. Patients are candidates for PAE even if they are not candidates for a transuretheral surgical procedure. Patients with bleeding originating from the prostate gland, indwelling catheters for urination, or non-surgical candidates are also suitable for PAE. Patients with chronic non-bacterial prostatitis may also be candidates for treatment. Your interventional radiologist will go over your clinical history in detail during the consultation.